Third-year Alex McCullough of the SUNY New Paltz Women’s Basketball team was selected to the All-Tournament Team following the team’s semifinal loss to conference rival SUNY Oneonta in the 2012 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament game.
“For me it’s just another goal and another challenge I’m ready to take on,” McCullough said. “It also shows we have good players, and that next year’s team’s better watch out.”
McCullough led the team with 13 points in New Paltz’s 66-63 loss to Oneonta, giving her a season overall point count of 299.
A post-player all throughout her basketball career, McCullough said she has expanded her game and developed herself considerably during her time at New Paltz.
“I can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court now,” McCullough said. “I’ve also learned how to guard all players, no matter their sizes.”
Originally from Albany, N.Y., McCullough began her basketball career when she started playing for the Bethlehem School District in the fifth grade. Her biggest obstacle in the beginning, McCullough said, was speed and the need to become faster. This fueled McCullough’s drive to become a better player.
“The intensity level of college basketball was definitely higher than high school, but the girls welcomed me as a freshman,” McCullough said. “I lucked out with coaches too, to be honest. Coach Seward is great.”
Head Coach James Seward, who began coaching the team six seasons ago, encourages the players and always expects 110 percent from the team,
After her All-Tournament Team honor, McCullough is beginning her preparation for the coming 2012-13 basketball season.
“I need to get myself ready physically and mentally,” McCullough said. “We all have our own things we do. I can’t play a game if my hair isn’t straight, and I always stand in the same spot in the huddle.”
McCullough said the team’s “chemistry [has] come through” this season, having only lost two of their last 12 games.
“It really just came down to us trusting in each other this season. We did a lot of team-bonding activities like group dinners at the senior house, coaches included,” McCullough said.
The Lady Hawks finished their season strong with an 18-9 record, setting the team up for victory for next season, McCullough said.
“The end of a season is always bittersweet,” McCullough said. “It would have been nice to win, but we had a great year.”
The team, McCullough said, is graduating six girls at the end of the spring 2012 semester.
“Next year is another year to try and be better than before,” McCullough said. “If there’s one thing we all can agree on it’s that it’s our time for a championship.”